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Yeah, wow, it has been a while since I’ve written here. In my defense, it has been that time of year. I realized early this afternoon that I could take a little break from stressing about everything, and post a little bit of an update to this here blog. So, to make sure this gets out, here’s 100 words on a variety of topics just to get caught up.
Thanks to a bat-out-of-hell trip to deepest suburban Chicago, I secured nine bookcases from a friend, in addition to some excellent furniture and miscellany. It’s amazing what that has done to clean up our floors. They have almost all been placed in strategic locations in the house and filled, not to capacity, but comfortably. I rode my bike about nine miles to pick up the U-Haul Van (in retrospect, I should have gotten one size up), and they were nice to forgo the extra day’s rent even though I was an hour-and-a half late returning it. Now, what will I do with my new garden edger and axe?
Both girls are now on their respective school volleyball teams: Daughter #1 on the 7/8, and #2 on the 5/6. The older team is benefiting from the experience of having some great players to lead it last year. Though the parents were under the impression that there would be a significant drop-off in talent (and therefore, wins) this year, that has proven not to be the case. They have dropped only one game in their first three matches against some rather stiff competition. The JV team is 2-1, but has many girls whose older sisters are players, so they’ve been around the game. I’ve been lassoed into service as the line judge, which the other parents appreciate, since they don’t have to do it. More as this develops.
I’ve started teaching my first class at LMU (short for Large Midwest University, as Chesterley puts it). I’ve very much surprised myself, as my extroverted side has allowed me to lecture/improvise for 75 minutes in a row. The students are nodding their heads and laughing at some of my jokes. Most of my headspace has been taken up with preparing for this class, taught in a large, echoey classroom without benefit of technology (so no PowerPoint.) I had lunch with a couple of my b-school professors on Thursday, who welcomed me and suggested that I might parlay this into some sort of clinical professorship. Hmm.
It was very much of a wrench after spending so much time with my church choir in England to come back and immediately stop spending Sunday mornings with them because of my singing gig. However, due to a loophole that I will explain next, I’ve been able to spend the last couple of Sunday mornings attending church with my family, sitting in the congregation, and acting like real people. It has been so comforting to sing the hymns, pray the prayers, and stand with everybody else, rather than being responsible for something. It makes me feel like an adult again.
Rehearsals for High Holy Days have begun at the synagogue, which doesn’t feel too foreign as there are three other paid singers who I sing with at my church. The whole group is a lot of fun and, now that I have sung most of the music before and gotten into the swing of pronouncing the transliterated Hebrew, it feels like greeting an old friend. Rehearsals are on Monday and Thursday, which means the contract I have to sing with the Jews overrides (in my mind), the week-to-week pay that I receive from my paid singing gig. If I can’t be at Big Church on Thursday, they don’t want me on Sunday, which, as we saw above, has freed up Sunday mornings for the duration of the High Holy Days.
The Daughters have also had a pretty good start to the school year, though we haven’t gotten any grades back. Both of the received high honors at the Honors Day Breakfast, the first led by the new head of school. He’s a solid, if unremarkable, speech-giver, but that’s I think what the school needs at this point. There was the usual grumbling from some corners as to the Wobegon-like percentage of the students who received academic honors, but y’know, I’m really past that. If nothing else, it was a great opportunity to have some bagels and coffee with the other parents.
I am already sick of the Presidential campaign as it is playing out on Facebook. If any of you who know me in that realm see me ever posting anything political, please remind me, and I will get rid of it immediately. Since the great majority of my friends seem to be of one persuasion, I’m actually more annoyed with them than those of the other persuasion. I’m feeling the itch to delete a lot of posts in the coming months. I’d rather hear about what you had for breakfast. Twitter, take me away. . . .
We actually had some significant rainfall this afternoon, after being the place where rain came to die for most of the weekend. On the radar, we’d see a huge patch of Isaac-inspired precipitation coming our way, and then just as it hit Terre Haute, it would dissipate into nothingness. Finally, the droplets began spitting down as we made out way home from church, and have continued for most of the afternoon. With the new bookcases, and some rejiggered lamps, the space that I call my office looked quite homey. Let us all pray for continued wetness.
I know that I already talked about the newly-gained furniture. But I must single out the chair. I believe it’s an IKEA rocking chair, though, it being on some rather thick carpeting, it doesn’t rock that much. It has that stunning quality of being soft enough to be comfortable, large enough to curl into, and stiff enough so that it is very difficult to unintentionally fall asleep in. Which makes it the perfect work chair, especially late at night. Not that I can’t go into the arms of Morpheus: it’s simply that I have to say, “I’m going to close my eyes now and put my head back.” Oh, it’s so much better than a La-Z-Boy.
Not that I completely detest The Tome of Visages. My college’s 1980′s alumni have a page which sponsors an occasional reading group that reads books by alumni of the school. Authors have included Laura Hillenbrand, Jake Kerr, and, this month, Cammie McGovern and her murder mystery Eye Contact. The story centers around a murder which may or may not have been witnessed by an autistic boy. It’s an interesting read—I certainly don’t know enough about autism to judge how “realistic” it is, though I suppose that’s not the point.
The same group is sponsoring a writing competition judged by the actual writers in the group. Five hundred words on the topic “What I Did For My Summer Vacation”. I dashed something off for that (it’s amazing how easily blogging makes 500 words seem short), my goal being feedback more than fame. If it is posted somewhere public, I’ll link to it here; if not, I’ll just post the whole thing.
Twelve hundred words may or may not make up for two lost weeks, but it will, I hope, put me back on track for my 85,000-word yearly goal.
The other night, apropos of nothing, the Wife and I were trying to remember if we did anything for our 10th wedding anniversary. I thought that we had gone out to a nice restaurant, but I always cede to her superior memory for things like this.
Turns out that I was right. From my blog of that time (8/21/2004):
Thank you, all, for your anniversary wishes. We had a great time, and went to Dunaway’s, a wonderful little restaurant on the south end of downtown Indy. We didn’t have to order hot dogs and fries for the kids, we didn’t have to make sure there was lemonade. The Wife had lobster ravioli, and I had the grilled hanger steak. We each had a mondo glass of wine and beef carpaccio for starters. The portions were the perfect size. I highly recommend it for special occasions.
However, it did point out one of my pet peeves (It wouldn’t be a blog if I didn’t complain, right?) The correct response to “Thank you” is “You’re welcome”, not “Thank you”. The relative status of the participants in the conversation doesn’t matter. I think that I would be OK with “Yes, sir/ma’am” as a rejoinder when it is a patron/server. I am thanking you for taking my order/serving/cleaning up my place, you should not at the same time thank me for something. I’m all for customer service, and you taking care of my every dining need, but please, this degree of subservience is not needed.
Also, it has been mentioned/made fun of elsewhere, but customer service people still say, “What can I get for you today?” to which the only proper response is “Nothing, but you can get me something on May 23rd, 2008.” It must have been some mid-level marketing manager 20 years ago that started this evil trend to differentiate his customers’ experience, but now it’s just silly. Related is the phrase, spoken at the checkout, “Is that all for you?” Again, the proper response is “No, I intentionally didn’t pick up pork rinds just so you can ask me about it.” This works even better at Barnes & Noble. Your job as an associate/bookseller/customer service representative/drone is to make me want to buy more things. “Can I get anything more for you?” is a much more effective formulation.
Apparently, there are no traditional anniversary gifts for the years between 15 and 20. So, I’ll have to make something up when this year’s comes around.
For the past couple of years, my father has come into town to attend a fundraiser for an organization he’s part of. He’s always invited me, and given me a nice chance to have a free dinner and a couple of strong drinks on the house. Last year, I got to sit at the table of our soon-to-be-out-but-no-I’m-not-running-for-president-no-sir governor. I was seated next to a gentleman who’s son attended both my (first) graduate and undergraduate institutions, so that was something to talk about.
Since the organization doesn’t have an office locally, most of the staff that come down to run the event are from Chicago, and so I spent a goodly amount of time explaining Indianapolis to Chicagoans, which is always a tricky proposition. On the one hand, being to much of a homer looks desperate; on the other, you don’t want to be overheard dissing your city.
This year the honoree was a local philanthropist who had made her money as the CEO of a company that ran timeshares. She has also set up schools for underprivileged kids all over the world. We were seated this time with slightly less exalted company, but each seat had a big bar of dark chocolate with peppermint, so it balanced out. I stashed three bars of the stuff in my pockets for the Wife; she is the dark chocolate fan in the family.
The weird part of the evening happened just as I sat down. I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I turn around to see the recently-ex-CEO of an arts organization that I worked for for a number of years. I left the company after playing out my string, and so it was interesting to see him come over to me, given the high-powered people at his table. We had a short convo before the evening’s entertainment and speeches started. And after dinner, I hung around to try to accost hiim again. My interest was somewhat prurient:he had left the organization rather quickly and with little information shared, and I wanted to see if I could glean what was up.
He seemed to take a genuine interest in what I was saying, even what was coming out of my mouth was nothing short of insane. I said that I was looking at a position that had opened up in Chattanooga. He looked at me blankly, and then asked where Chattanooga was (give him a break, he’s from England).1 I realized later that if you don’t know what chattanooga is, then it’s a pretty insane word to drop into conversation. I might as well have said, “I’m going to blip-blop-blorp to work at the totsy-wotsy.” I got nothing juicy out of him, but I did then have the courage to send him a LinkedIn invite, which he accepted immediately. Whew! He never asked me why I was there, because I had no links to the honoree. Hm.
I had asked my father for a sleeping bag for Daughter #2 for her camping. I asked him because the ones that I grew up with are big and warm and 70s-Sears-fantabulous. So after the dinner, we wet up to his room in the hotel and I picked it up. The walk back to the street parking I found was about six blocks, and I must have looked really weird to the beggars and homeless on the corners in my suit and tie, carrying this olive green sleeping bag. Now they’ve seen it all.
1Yes, I did answer “Tennessee”, but only after some fumbling because I wasn’t expecting the question at all. The word tennessee is kinda weird, too, come to think of it.
For the first part of this oh-so-fascinating story, look further down the page, or click here.
When we last left our hero, he was headed to his parents’ house to try to catch some shuteye at 12 am. However, his primary thoughts at this time were around the time change back to Indiana. See, he had to be back in Indianapolis by 8:30 for the first Sunday of his new singing gig.
Let’s see. I need to be there at 8:30 ET. Let’s budget 4 hours for the trip. That puts us at 4:30 am ET, which is 3:30 am CT. It’s probably not going to take that long, and I may not need so much time to get ready, so 3:45 in-the-car would most likely work. Now my iPod touch is still on ET, but my phone is on local time, and has a much louder and more annoying alarm. So, setting the alarm for 3:30 will work. OK, let’s work that the other way. Leave at 3:30, four hour trip gets me there at 7:30, which is 8:30 local time. Perfect.
By the time I had figured that all out, and prayed that the alarm would wake me up, and that I hadn’t made a mistake in my time zone calculations either way, it was 12:30 CT. So, three hours of sleep it was going to be.
By 3:50, I was on the wet streets of my home town, the houses shut up tight, the not-quite-bright-enough-because-we-like-them-that-way streetlights were keeping their lonely vigil. Central to Gross Point to Old Orchard, and we’re on the interstate again. There’s nothing quite like driving on an urban three-lane highway with no other traffic. Everything’s lit up like there should be more people, but the only cars you really notice are coming the other way, the way you’re going seems to be deserted. There were a couple of lit-up police cars at the side of the road, mostly helping stranded motorists rather than executing traffic stops. Smooth sailing.
I get two kinds of tired while driving. The first usually happens in the mid-to-late afternoon. My eyes start drooping, and nothing I can do will stop them. The only thing that seems to work is vigorously shaking my head from side-to-side, giving me a headache, which concentrates the attention wonderfully. This is the dangerous kind. I was lucky that on this voyage, I had the other kind, the lack-of-actual-sleep kind. This feels like there is a sharp laser bouncing around my head, which compels me to focus on the road ahead. My eyes have no trouble staying open. I stopped once for a bathroom break and a walk around, and I got to experience a great sunrise.
Got to Indy, filled up the tank, and got to church in time. I had set things up earlier in the week so that I knew where my music for the big choir was (a separate place from the music I have for the small group) and where my robe was, so I was able to get through the basics without having to ask stupid questions. Since I am replacing someone who, it seems, people liked, the last thing that I want is for people to be underwhelmed when I show up. Sitting in the organ/choir loft, I greet one person I’ve sung with before. No one else acknowledges me.1
This the first Sunday morning service I have been to in this mainline Protestant tradition. So, it’s interesting to note the similarities and differences. There were two services, and they had three infant baptisms at each—it’s a big church. But no communion. We sang a contempo-Christian standard, Tom Fettke’s The Majesty and Glory of Your Name, and the Sevenfold Amen from Peter Lutkin’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You. So, not too stressful.
I did socialize with some of the people I knew from Small Choir in between the two services. Again, interesting that I talked with the substitute director, who is apparently a section leader (as myself) in Big Choir, but she neither introduced herself, nor asked my name. The event that was emblematic of this happened during the second service. After the offertory anthem (the Fettke) the choir gets up and starts to leave. I say, “hey, go with the flow.” I’m outside the church, headed for what I assume is either “the showers” or another procession somewhere else, when I hear, “Someone get Hugh”. One of the section leaders noticed that I wasn’t still in the loft, because apparently, the paid people stick around for the whole service, In this case, to sing the Lutkin. And no one had told me. You people do realize that (a) it’s my first Sunday, and (b) I’m here for the duration? Don’t look at me as though this is my fault.
Anyway, since no one is going to inform me of anything, I won’t tell you that I have to bug out ASAP to pick up Daughter #1 from her sleepover. Run back to the choir room, off with the robe, music into the slot, into the car. Call the Wife to ask her to call the sleepover to say that I’m on my way. D#1 is into the car at 12:20. I’m home at 1:05 to drop the kid off, and pick up the Wife to take her to her tutoring gig, which is on the other side of town, and for which she has to be there at 2:00. We knew that it was going to be like this, that everything would have to work like a Swiss timepiece. Oh, did I mention that I started on a conference call with a college alumni group at 12:55? So, I mime “hi” to the Wife when she gets into the car, and we set off.
Around 465 at light speed, all my passenger hears is me blabbing, and not even to her (she’s a saint). Get off 465 at the correct exit, but miss the next turn. Wife signals to me broadly, but calmly, given the circumstances. I turn around, and we get to the place at ten minutes to. Perfect. She jumps out, and I finish the phone call in the parking lot. I find the Indianapolis Indians game on the radio, and chill out for what turns out to be an hour and half. No problem, our next appointment is at 4 pm.
She gets out, happy with her student, at 3:30, and we head out back to the same church from this morning. Oh, yeah, I have to sing with Small Choir. We get there at 3:55, and I set the Wife up in the library, since she hasn’t seen me sing here yet. She breaks out the Agatha Christie, I swing into a two-hour rehearsal. The big piece for this service is an arrangement of an Astor Piazzolla tango, Primavera Porteña, which reminds me very much of all of the a cappella music I arranged and sung in college: lots of badabah’s and doodoo’s. We also start to prepare Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via, and Paul Mealor’s Ubi Caritas, which I just sang during Holy Week. End the rehearsal, up to the sanctuary, and the last service of my day happens.
Wife and I in the car, and back home. My last job of the day is to give the dog a walk, which I am happy to do, if only to smell the fresh air. Check, but don’t act, on my email. Fall asleep.
So, if I didn’t respond to you this weekend, or yesterday, please excuse me. I was kinda busy.
1Granted, I’m certainly not the kind of personality that takes over a room, and if I wanted a grand reception, I should have started shaking hands from the beginning, in a sort of hail-fellow-well-met fashion. But I didn’t. And the regular director was out of town, and her sub didn’t know me, so that was another strike against me. I’m just sayin’.
In about an hour, I’ll be off to a performance of my undergraduate school choir. It’s the first gig of their spring tour, and for some reason they scheduled it at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon.1 Unless the alumnus who organized this stop is really good at getting the members of the 91st St. Christian church to show up, I can only imagine the crowd. Then again, I’m under the impression that it is a huge church, and so maybe a bunch of folks will show up.
I’m kind of conflicted about going. I was a four-year member of the group, and so many good things happened to me while singing with them, both musically and socially.2 On the other hand, I have had some interactions with both the school and the conductor which have soured me on both the college and the choir. I can see that, if I hadn’t sung much after that time, I would be excited to go, and relive the good times. But I’ve devoted a fair portion of my life to music in general, and choral singing in particular. For me, this is less about the musical experience (which I can match any day of the week) than for the present members of the group.
Spending six days on a bus with those forty-two other people (the size of the choir in my day, now it’s up to fifty-three, since they were able to find a bigger coach) was a fantastic experience. From performing in beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) naves, to bending my legs after every final note, to finding women who actually liked me, I finally felt at home. We memorized the whole concert, something I didn’t realize was odd until I started singing with IU students who, when I mentioned memorization, looked at me, aghast. It was also the last time that I could fit into a tuxedo consistently.
I know that, when I get there, there’s the danger of trying to relive those days, of trying to be the smart guy in the room. At the end of each concert, the tradition is for the choir to sing one of the school songs, and to invite alumni of the choir to join them up on stage. Sure, I’ll do that, though my first inclination is to slip in and slip out. I hope that I can treat this mostly as I would any other concert. Just sit back and enjoy some decently performed a cappella.
N.B. The post title is from Job 3:20, “Why is light given unto those in misery?” It’s the first line of Brahms’ Op. 71, No. 1.
UPDATE: I had a fun time. There were other alumni there whom I knew, and there were three alumni of the group who came up for the encore. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.
1Aha, found the reason why. They’re also singing at the Sunday morning service.
2The college I attended produces graduates who “drink the Kool-Aid” of the school, thinking that it’s the great good place. We tend not to answer the question with, “yes, I attended there,” but with “OHYESOHYESIWENTTHEREITWASSOINCREDIBLE. IKNOWYOUWANTTOSPENDTHENEXTSIXHOURSTALKINGABOUTIT!!” Luckily, I’ve gone past that stage, though I was in it for many years.
I know that I should wait until I get three of these to make a decent paragraph about them, but I’ve waited a week, and I know that if I don’t do it now I’ll forget them.
- A couple of weeks ago, I say a pick-up with the logo of a towing company on it. The company’s name was “Camel Towing.” I still am of two minds as to whether the pun was intentional or not. There was a picture of a camel within the logo, so it may be something like Hooters. I’m not going to link to it, but I assume you know what a “camel toe” is.
- Then I saw another pick-up with “Remagen Food Services”, and the logo was a bridge. For those of you who need some background, the bridge at Remagen, Germany (the Ludendorff Bridge) became famous as the first point where the Allies crossed the Rhine during WWII. What that has to do with food services, I’m not quite sure.
I’ve had one headlight out for about a week, and have felt myself lucky to not be pulled over by the local constabulary. Dropped in to get it fixed, and was glad to find that not only did they have the part in stock, but the Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair was still on the waiting room rack. Needless to say, I recognized not one of the starlets pictured on the cover. Sixteen bucks for the part, twice that for the labor, and 20 minutes and a handshake later, I was out of there.
We had some scary weather in the Indy area today. The hail started falling when I was on the overpass over I-465, but luckily it was not the size of “canned hams.”
Well, that’s a start.
Exiting the library today (not my safe, suburban, public library, but the main downtown one) I turned a corner to exit and noticed that there was a large group of people standing around near the doors. I then noticed that several of them were policemen. They were talking. In fact, they were talking to two men that were face down on the floor with their hands secured behind their backs. I didn’t know if the area was secured, and so I tried to make eye contact with someone, to see if I could pass through to remove myself from the situation. A couple of people did return my half-hearted glance, and so I charged ahead until I could see the paddy wagon outside.
There are a lot of homeless, overwhelmingly male, who spend their days at the library. It doesn’t surprise me that this happens occasionally.
Around the older part of the library, carved in the limestone, are the great authors as of 1916 (Aristotle, Milton, Dickens). For the most part, they are all recognizable names; there are only a few missteps (Sidney Lanier? Really?), and local nods (James Whitcomb Riley, who gave the land for the original library.) What struck me today, as I looked out the fifth-floor window of the shiny-new part was that one of the names was listed as “Mark Twain”. All the others are referred to only by last name, save those ancients such as Plutarch.
Though I usually think of Mark Twain as a name, it’s really a character that Samuel Clemens created: the white-suited, cigar-chomping, steel-barb-witted curmudgeon. I’ve started the recent critical biography of him (a couple times, actually), and he is a really fascinating study. But his moniker is indivisible, it’s not really “Mr. Twain.” But it really pulled me up short and made me think, even for a short time, about the nature of words and names.
Do you ever stare at a word for so long that it loses all of its meaning? I used to like to stare at stop signs for a minute or so (I wasn’t driving at the time, I don’t think I was even 16).
STOP. STOP. S-T-O-P. Stop. stopstopstop. St-Op. potS. Stop. STOP….
And then the weirdness of the combinations of letters, and even of the shape of the letters themselves became completely arbitrary. I would lose all bearings. Kind of like thought patterns that I occasionally have before bed these days. I’ll be on some sort of plank in deep space, and then I’ll step off of it and start falling. Well, not really “falling” because there’s no gravity to pull me in any particular direction. So, let’s just say I seem to look in a direction that feels like up, and see the plank. My dream-field of vision doesn’t allow me to ascertain if the plank is itself attached to something more solid, though I get the feeling that it is. Then it’s just me surrounded by the blackness dotted with millions of stars. I’m scared but not terrified. I don’t feel any imminent danger (that I can’t breathe, or that some evil space monster is going to attack me), but the fact that I’m completely surrounded by the vastness of space and time. Nothing is going to happen ever again.
Then I snap out of it, and that’s my mental innoculation against having an actual dream like that.
Now that the Super Bowl is over, and the local sports discussion has returned to the level of a couple of 60-somethings one-upping each other with their ailments (“Peyton had three neck surgeries”, “No, he had four!”) the normal pace of life has returned to this place. Normal, that is, for February. If I could trade weeks and weeks of outsize snowfall for the present gray weather, I would. Not that I spend that much time outside.
I picked up the wireless microphones and transmitter from Tipton Sound & Lighting yesterday, and took it to the school gym to test it all out., amidst dreams of having everything but the thing necessary to get it to work. I was lucky that the school’s portable mixer was already hooked up and on, primarily because I didn’t have the opportunity to break it. I felt like a roadie for the least popular band in the world as I unlocked the roadcase for the mics: off come the two sides of the box, out comes the power cord and the two cords with connecting jacks. Out come the two wireless mics (I wonder if they still make the ones they used on “Match Game 76″?).
Power cord goes in, audio cords are hooked to the mixer, channels 7 and 8. Wireless unit turns on, mics are turned on. Volume levels turned up, and, voilà, we have my voice murmuring “checkcheck” coming through the main gym speakers. Wow. Perfect.
I was so excited I almost sat beside the whole set up for the next two hours while I waited for the kids to get out of school. But, no, other things need to be secured. I went to the choir director’s office to tell him that the setup has been set up, and he sat up and said, “Good.” I lucked out, because he was testing out the CD accompaniment to our anthem this Sunday.
Now, I don’t mean one of those awful STARTRAX things that high school swing choirs use when they don’t want to pay a real accompanist. This is a weird and wonderful collection of sounds that seems to come mostly from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop circa 1975. There was a time in the mid-to-late-70s when a lot of church composers were utilizing taped sounds to go along with live performances. The accompaniment to the piece we’re singing has a lot of primitive synthesizer sounds and choral voices in addition to us and the live church organ. The piece is “The Transfiguration” by Larry King1, and so it is very ethereal. The director wanted me to sit in the sanctuary to see how loud he could make the CD without it being annoying. Quite cool, and very of-its-time.
The next order of business was to see how many wine bottle openers and tea candles we had from last year to see what we could reuse. the we were done for the afternoon. Kids were picked up, brought home, Wife was picked up, and we headed back to school for Math & Science night.
There are three main activities in M&SN, none of which have to do with math. The assembled are divided into three groups. Group One goes to the gym where they see a chemist from The Local Multinational work with gases (exploding hydrogen and helium balloons), liquids (hydrogen peroxide), and solids (pouring liquid nitrogen over a balloon). Group Two goes to a classroom where they extract the DNA out of a strawberry. Group Three goes to the cafteria, where they are fed dinner. Then every half hour the people rotate.
Since I had seen all of these things last year, I migrated to a room where all of the trifold cardboard displays from the 5/6th grad science fair were displayed. I’m very glad that I wasn’t on the judging committee, because I would pick the winners like my mother picks thoroughbreds: by the names. My favorite? “How Well Do You Know The Back Of Your Hand?” A close second was the experiement where the boys had his friends play video games with their feet in a bucket of cold water, and then their torso under an electric blanket. This was, apparently, to see if it affected performance.
The ribbons had been awarded, and it was good to see that none of the ones that were obviously parent-aided got ribbons. There were a significant number of bread/mold-based experiments, which is appropriate for that age. Oh, yeah, and one where the kid had put a 15-watt amp into his shower to measure the resonance. It doesn’t look as though he turned on the water.
I went back down for dinner (my favorite experiment), and then it was time for choir.
After a half-hour preparing for this Sunday, we went to the gym to practice our group numbers for the Cabaret. Even though I had made the effort to set up and test all of the audio equipment, it was not used [a little sigh]. Now, I’m as anti-choreography as anyone, but, since we had made the decision to do it, I was annoyed at the people who refuse to get into it. I know, hypocritical to the nth degree. But, I’m co-chairing this thing, and I’ll be damned if you’re not going to make any effort [opens fire on the crowd with a maniacal laugh].
Sorry, where was I? Actually, it went about as well as could be expected, and the audience will love it. My parents are also going to be in attendance, and I think it’ll impress them enough.
Today, I need to verify that we can put up the scaffolding for the spotlights. I hope that I can do it tonight after the last basketball game. There is no school tomorrow, and so we have the whole day to set the tables before the dress rehearsal tomorrow night. Oh, yeah, I should probably have a look at the songs I’m singing….
And it’s still February.